• "Ben's experience and expertise make him one of the most important leaders not just in Silicon Valley but in the global knowledge economy. For anyone interested in building, growing or leading a great company, this book is an incredibly valuable resource ­and a funny and insightful read.”

    Mark Zuckerberg,
    cofounder and CEO of Facebook

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    "Ben's book is a great read--with uncomfortable truths about entrepreneurship and how to lead to a company. It's also an inspiring story of a business rebirth through sheer willpower."

    Larry Page,
    cofounder and CEO of Google

  • "Ben's advice has been invaluable to me over the past few years. He is forthright and direct, acknowledging, for example, that the job of leading can be impossibly lonely, while eloquently providing no-nonsense guidance for managing teams through good times and bad times. Stripping away the veneer of management-speak, Ben's writing carries the authority of somebody who has been through all of this. The results are simple, thorough, and compelling."

    Dick Costolo,
    CEO of Twitter

  • "Every management guide presumes that all great companies follow a formula. But successful startups don’t imitate; they build innovations that can't be copied. Ben Horowitz knows no recipe guarantees success, and with The Hard Thing About Hard Things he has written the first true guide for protecting a startup from self-sabotage."

    Peter Thiel,
    cofounder of PayPal and founder and partner at Founders Fund

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There Are Lots Of People Talking About How Great It Is To Start A Business,
But Only Ben Horowitz Is Brutally Honest About How Hard It Is To Run One.


Praise For
The Hard Thing About Hard Things

“There is more than enough substance in Mr. Horowitz’s impressive tome to turn it into a leadership classic.”

“His book takes readers through Mr. Horowitz’s own fascinating career, while sharing examples and dispensing advice drawn from the careers of others. . . . The honesty is both refreshing and compelling, and readers will enjoy being taken through challenge after challenge alongside Mr. Horowitz.”

“With a candid, even profanity-laced style that quotes everyone from Silicon Valley legend Bill Campbell to hip-hop star Nas, Horowitz writes about what it takes to manage people and lead organizations today. . . . Even the most seasoned managers will appreciate Horowitz’s discussion of the emotional toll of high-power jobs and what he calls the CEO psychological meltdown.”

“The most valuable book on startup management hands down.”

 

“This isn’t your traditional, how-to founder advice. He tackles the real problems and challenges entrepreneurs face. . . . But where Horowitz separates himself is in his advice around how to control your own psychology and demons as a CEO and founder. These are real problems that every CEO and leader faces, as sometimes they are their own worst enemy. . . . My bet is that Horowitz’s book becomes gospel for startups. His stories already have.”

“Horowitz tends to dispense management advice in a kind of one-two punch. First comes the self-deprecating quip about mismanagement and misery, delivered with a knowing grin and capped with a two-beat chuckle. But soon the smile will vanish, and he’ll turn dead serious. His brow will furrow slightly, his eyes will widen and focus with an intensity that borders on scary, and he’ll speak slowly, deliberately. It’s almost as if you can’t afford not to listen.”

The hard thing isn't setting a big, hairy, audacious goal. The hard thing is laying people off when you miss the big goal.

The hard thing isn't dreaming big. The hard thing is waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat when the dream turns into a nightmare.

About the Author

Ben Horowitz is the cofounder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs building the next generation of leading technology companies. Previously, he was cofounder and CEO of Opsware, formerly Loudcloud, which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard for $1.6 billion in 2007. Horowitz writes about his experiences and insights from his career as a computer science student, software engineer, cofounder, CEO, and investor in a blog that is read by nearly 10 million people.

Follow him on Twitter @bhorowitz and his blog, www.bhorowitz.com.